Excursion to Khor Virap, Noravank, Areni, Tatev, Shaki Waterfall

Khor Virap

Duration: 12hrs


  Price without guide 


  Price with guide  


Car (max. 3 passengers)   75 000 AMD   95 000 AMD
Minivan (max. 7 passengers)   85 000 AMD   105 000 AMD


Khor Virap ('deep dungeon') is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat Plain in Armenia, near the border with Turkey.
The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos.
Khor Virap's notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Gregory the Illuminator was initially imprisoned here for 13 years by King Trdat III of Armenia. Saint Gregory subsequently became the king's religious mentor, and they led the christian activity in the country. In the year 301, Armenia was the first country in the world to be declared a Christian nation.
A chapel was initially built in 642 at the site of Khor Virap by Nerses III the Builder as a mark of veneration to Saint Gregory. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1662, the larger chapel known as the "St. Astvatsatsin" (Holy Mother of God) was built around the ruins of the old chapel, the monastery, the refectory and the cells of the monks. Now, regular church services are held in this church. It is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia.



Noravank ('new monastery') is a 13th century Armenian monastery, located about 120 km from Yerevan in a narrow gorge made by the Amaghu River, near the town of Yeghegnadzor.

The gorge is known for its tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs, directly across from the monastery.

The monastery is best known for its two-storey Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) Church, which grants access to the second floor by way of a narrow stone-made staircase jutting out from the face of building. In the 13th–14th centuries the monastery became a residence of Syunik's bishops and, consequently, a major religious and, later, cultural center of Armenia closely connected with many of the local seats of learning, especially with Gladzor's famed university and library. Noravank was founded in 1105 by Bishop Hovhannes, a former abbot of Vahanavank near the present-day city of Kapan in Syunik. The monastic complex includes the church of S. Karapet, S. Grigor chapel with a vaulted hall, and the church of S. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God). Ruins of various civil buildings and khachkars are found both inside and outside of the compound walls. Noravank was the residence of the Orbelian princes.

The architect Siranes and the miniature painter and sculptor Momik worked here in the latter part of the thirteenth and early fourteenth century.



Areni is a village in the Vayots Dzor Province of Armenia.
Areni is best known for its wine production, with the majority of wine produced locally from the nearby village of Getap.
Areni stands as one of the distinguished and ancient villages in the Vayots Dzor Province. In ancient times, it resided about half a kilometer north of its current location, situated atop a hill where the Holy Mother of God Church, constructed by the architect Momik in 1321, remains standing to this day. The village's territory is rich in ancient remnants, including various ancient sites, several abandoned settlements, numerous khachkars (cross-stones) adorned with inscriptions, and picturesque caves.
Since 2004, Areni village has been hosting an annual wine festival in October, which has now become a tradition.
In 2007 excavations began in Areni Cave. Excavations unearthed large complexes, which showed that this cave was once used for religious and economic purposes. A wine press was found in one room of the cave. Traces of seeds, stems, and the compound that gives red wine its signature color were found, which led a wide array of scientists to conclude that the area was used as a winery about 6,000 years ago. Areni Cave is now recognized as the oldest winery in the world.


Tatev monastery

Tatev Monastery is a 9th-century Armenian Apostolic Christian monastery located on a large basalt plateau near the village of Tatev in the Syunik Province in southeastern Armenia.

The term "Tatev" usually refers to the monastery. The monastic ensemble stands on the edge of a deep gorge of the Vorotan River. Tatev is known as the bishopric seat of Syunik and played a significant role in the history of the region as a center of economic, political, spiritual and cultural activity.
The Monastery of Tatev has been described as one of the two best-known monasteries in Armenia, along with Noravank in the province of Vayots Dzor.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the monastery hosted one of the most important Armenian medieval universities, the University of Tatev, which contributed to the advancement of science, religion and philosophy, reproduction of books and development of miniature painting. Scholars of the Tatev University contributed to the preservation of Armenian culture and creed during one of its most turbulent periods in its history.



Shaki waterfall

The breathtaking Shaki Waterfall boasts numerous jets and cascades and is nestled in the Syunik region, close to the town of Sisian. It's set amidst deep canyons, slender grottos, and towering rock crevices. This natural treasure is framed by lush green foliage. Standing at a height of 18 meters and spanning an impressive width, the roaring sound of its water often drowns out the enthusiastic yells of those keen to take a dip in its refreshing pools.

Historical evidence suggests that the area around the Shaki waterfall has been a hub for human habitation for millennia, with researchers still uncovering traces of ancient civilizations.

A stone's throw from Shaki Falls, one can find a myriad of mineral springs and bountiful lakes. The locals often speak of the waters' therapeutic qualities. There's also a touching legend associated with the falls. It's said that a domineering ruler once tried to wed a local maiden named Shake against her will. Fleeing his advances, she leapt from a cliff, and her flowing white dress is said to have transformed into the powerful surges of the waterfall.

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